Orbel & Maldera 2014 FCCA 949

A boy aged 12 years had lived with his maternal grandmother from the age of 4 years, after his mother had abandoned him to participate in a drug-related lifestyle, and the mother had limited involvement in his life.  The grandmother applied for an order that the boy live with her and with his two older sisters from different fathers (sibling separation).  The boy’s father acquiesced to the grandmother’s application.

Five years later the father applied for the boy to live with him, citing changed circumstances.  The father had re-partnered and had three younger children.  The grandmother opposed the request.

The judge noted that the family law court has the power to make a parenting order in favour of a grandparent.  The judge accepted there were changed circumstances, and ordered that the father have sole parental responsibility, that the boy live with the father and visit the grandmother.